Club Track – Hurdles

“Just Jump, Natashinka.”  The hurdles coach was Russian and I loved the way he pronounced my name.

For a brief time I believed his faith in me could propel me over the hurdles.  But I was terrified.  I could run quickly up to the hurdle but I would come to a stop before jumping over.

The hurdles at the lowest level were still taller than my legs.  I couldn’t figure out how to will my entire body over them.

So I moved on to long jump.  I could barely make the dirt pit.

No cross country, no sprinting, no hurdles, no long jump.

Being black didn’t help at all.


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